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Helliwell’s April 2024 Ministry Update

Culture can be simply defined as inclusive of all the life-ways of a people.  In other words, absolutely every aspect of our lives and how we live is a part of our culture.

When Jesus came into the world, he left the culture of heaven and entered a culture of the world, specifically, the Hebraic culture in the Roman world.  In other words, Jesus himself, contextualized the message of the gospel.  There has been much misunderstanding of this process of contextualization and often in our ministry these misunderstandings are brought to the fore.

Contextualization is explaining something in the context of our audience, so for example, teaching children about the bible using illustrations, simple language, and sitting down at their level, are all examples of contextualization.

Thus, Rising Above, Regina Discipleship Project seeks to Contextualize the Gospel to Indigenous people of southern Saskatchewan and we do this through the process of Incarnational Discipleship, or the willingness to “be Jesus with skin on”, living and walking with indigenous people through the context of their lives.

I say all of this because of recent conversations I have had that suggest that we are changing the gospel message, by amalgamating or merging elements of indigenous religion into the Christian message of salvation.  That would be syncretism, and I want to assure you that with much prayer and seeking of God, that is definitely NOT what we are attempting to do in anything that we do.

What we are trying to do in all of our efforts is to affirm the dignity of who God created the Indigenous peoples of Southern Saskatchewan to be, and we believe that the highest affirmation of the Indigenous Identity is that which is founded upon Jesus Christ.

We also believe very strongly in the doctrines of repentance and sanctification; particularly of sanctification through repentance, meaning that both repentance and sanctification are processes that God uses to shape people into the image of His Son, Jesus.

I need to say and emphasize those things because of the questions that arise from various sources who question our involvements.  This past weekend, we had a booth at the First Nations University Spring Celebration Powwow.  Not surprisingly, we were the only Christian booth there.  We were very well received and had a lot of really good interactions.  Because of the positive impact, we want to increase our visibility in the Indigenous community by participating in other cultural events throughout the coming months.

The Regina Discipleship Project enjoys a really good reputation in the Indigenous community as being literally, “First Peoples helping First Peoples, bringing God’s healing to our land.”

Building this reputation has literally taken years, and we have had so many strong supporters, such as yourself, who have vested interest in establishing and maintaining that reputation.

We want to assure you that it is Jesus Christ we are proclaiming, all the while living and walking alongside Indigenous people we minister among.  We are very aware that while we are out there, we are never alone; Jesus leads and guides us, and all of our supporters, such as yourself, are also there in spirit as well.  So, Thank you for being there for us.

A New Van Becomes a New Kitchen

I told you last update that we were blessed with a new van.  Well, as you know, God’s blessings just keep on blessing, and so with the money we had saved up for the van, we were able to spend it on repairs to our kitchen!



New window, cupboards, counter-top, sink, and taps.
Emphasises the need to get the floor done and paint the cupboards!


from the First Nations University of Canada:
Nisitohtamowin ᓂᓯᑐᐦᑕᒧᐃᐧᐣ: An Introduction to Understanding Indigenous Perspectives in Canada
This one hour course provides an introduction to understanding Indigenous perspectives in Canada. It is offered as a free public resource for the month of June in honour of National Indigenous History Month.

from Classroom Ready and available at Staples
Connecting – Resilience – Indigenous Truth & Reconciliation ‘CRITR’ Workbook – Business Edition
How business (or Churches) can mobilize their organization towards Truth & Reconciliation

“Taking action towards understanding Indigenous perspectives can lead to reconciliation, better relationships, and various opportunities when it comes to the economy, community partnerships, the environment, business, and beyond.”

“For many teams and organizations across Canada, this would be the first-time meaningful conversations were brought to their teams about what every-day Canadian citizens can do for reconciliation.”

What’s ahead for Regina Discipleship Project:
April 27th – first meeting of the Regina Discipleship Project guidance council.
May 11th – our next Indigenous Christian Discussions group.
May 30-31 & June 1 – MOSAIC Festival, booth at the Indigenous Pavilion

Please pray for us as God continues to open doors for our ministry!

Praying for Big Things!

Nick Helliwell

Rising Above Community Chaplain

Regina Discipleship Project